Discussion in 'Sacred Scripture' started by Adam Warlock, Jun 23, 2012.
In this you are united with our holy Fathers.
I agree, I think those people who ignore it completely are missing out on a valuable resource.
I do too UK. And I would respectfully submit that it ignores the spirit of the reformers as expressed in the 39 Articles.
2 Maccabees, for instance, warrants prayers for the dead: "It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins." The apocryphal books are part of the Christian and Jewish historical patrimony but should be used with caution.
And they should never be confused with the Scriptures in the minds of the faithful.
The Fathers make this distinction. Apocrypha are read for "edification", considered as "ecclesiastical scriptures" i.e. for good will and wisdom in the Church. The true inspired Scriptures, on the other hand, are "canonical": i.e. for establishing the canon/rule/measure of the Faith itself.
I'm inclined to believe it's better to remove the Apocrypha altogether from public worship. Having it read aloud alongside the Holy Gospels is really quite dangerous.
Yes, the apocrypha can be read but is not canonical scripture properly speaking.
One question that occurred to me:
Which books were classed in the class of apocrypha or ecclesiastical scripture in the early church?
For example the Eastern Orthodox church recognise books that the Anglican and Roman churches never have
Do Anglicans have a view on these extra apocryphal books?
The issue of Apocrypha is limited to the Old Testament. Christians are entirely in agreement as to the constitution of the New. I think it would do well to bring up this list of quotes from several prominent early Fathers & theologians as to the content of the Old Testament canon (cited and sourced):
There was no "Orthodox" vs. "Catholic" distinction back then. Everyone trusted in the same canon. The East generally has a greater number of sound theologians than the West after a certain point, but that's probably because the only works we have from Western Fathers are those which were not destroyed by Ostrogoth, Visigoth, Arian, and various other barbarian wars.
thanks for the link, was interesting to see how many of the apocvryphal books they listed. What I meant was, since many in the early church made a distinction between canonical scripture and ecclesiastical scripture, which books did they class as ecclesiastical - good for reading in church. Anglicans recognise Tobit, Judith, Greek Esther, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, Epistle of Jeremiah, Song of the three children, Story of Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, Prayer of Manasseh, 1 and 2 Maccabees.
However the Orthodox also have I and 2 Esdras, 3 and 4 Maccabees and psalm 151. So a question is why do we have fewer old testament apocryphal books. Were these extra books the orthodox have ever considered god for reading too in the early church, and have there ever been other books not related to the old testament apocrypha that have ever been considered worth while to be read in churches. We could perhaps argue that the book of homilies are on equal footing with the old testament apocrypha? ie they're considered edifying and good for reading out loud in churches.
Origen only lists Maccabees as books besides scripture, indeed Maccabees seem to to be the main "extra book" mentioned. Eusibius mentions Sirach too, Cyril of Jeruslam makes a very interesting remark after mentioning reading the 22 Hebrew books he warns "have nothing to do with the apocryphal writings" Does this suggest the OT Apocryphal books were not even read in the churches in his area? His quote would seem to speak against even an ecclesiastical but non canonical scripture
Interestingly Jerome mentions "the shepherd" along with Sirach, Wisdom and Tobit, giving the impression there was no distinction made between a ecclesiastical scripture and any inspirational writing. Interestingly none of the quotes mentioned the any of the extra orthodox apocryphal writings of 1 and 2 Esdras and psalm 151 and its not clear whether 3 and 4 Maccabees were included in the mention of the books of Maccabees. Also there is no mention of the prayer of Manasseh, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, or the sng of the three children.
It becomes increasingly difficult to define what The Church considered to be The Holy Canonical Scripture at different times. The Romans say that we eject essential books from the Bible, and yet they themselves refuse several writings that the "O"rthodox hold to. Let's never assume that "More Books" = "More Ancient", however!
In the end, only the Logos is the Word of God.
We use the Apocrypha in Mass.
We use the Deuterocanonicals in our lectionaries and during Mass, and I accept them as Deuterocanonical Scripture.